Fangting Village, Anxi, Fujian
Our Gold Osmanthus tea is from Fanting Village, a small village nestled in the mountains of Anxi, Fujian. The village has around 500 households and is known for its abundance of old osmanthus trees. In Fanting, every household has an osmanthus tree in the yard, and many are over 100 years old.
Every year in October the entire village is flooded with the sweet, intoxicating fragrance of the osmanthus flowers. The bloom season for osmanthus is very short, so this intensely aromatic experience only lasts for about 2 weeks.
The people who live in Fanting could not know any tree better than they do osmanthus; the blooming and harvesting of osmanthus flowers has a 300 year old history in the village. For the two weeks that the trees are in bloom life for the villagers changes dramatically: everyone stops their regular routines and participates in the annual harvesting of the flowers.
Early in the morning a group of villagers rises to lay out a huge cloth beneath the osmanthus trees. Two or three people then climb to the top of the towering trees carrying long bamboo poles that they use to gently tap the branches. As they carry on with this, climbing and tapping, a mesmerizing rain of osmanthus flowers ensues.
Afterwards, the villagers gather up all the flowers on the cloth. They gather around it, sitting in groups, and sort through the flowers, removing any leaves or branches. The remaining flowers are then sent through a large sieve to remove any remaining debris. Finally, and very quickly, the fresh flowers are freeze-dried at -30°C to retain the sublime fragrance, aroma and taste as much as possible.
Our Gold Osmanthus flowers are from centuries-old trees that stand in front of the home of Wang Nianping. Year round, the trees are tended to naturally and no fertilizers or chemicals are ever used. They are harvested exactly as is the tradition of the village, and freeze dried the day they have fallen off their tree.
The tea of these tiny, exquisite flowers is so cheerful! It smells like apricot, Vitamin C, and roasted nuts. It is highlighter yellow, and carries a bouquet of synthesized tropical fruits: hybrids of papaya, mango, and guava. The liquor is dense – even more so than last year’s harvest – which seems to cause the tea's brightness to settle even more deeply within us. This tea could act like a surrogate for the sun.. . .
The ratio of flower to water is 1g : 150ml.
|Steep time||20 sec, 30 sec, 50 sec+
|No. of infusions||4